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Rhys parents launch sports memorial

The parents of murdered schoolboy Rhys Jones have launched building work for a community and sports centre in his memory.

The 11-year-old was gunned down five years ago as he walked to football practice near his home in Croxteth, Liverpool.

Melanie and Stephen Jones dug up the first piece of turf for the Rhys Jones Community Centre which will include all-weather soccer pitches and a pavilion to provide a safe place for children and young people to meet and play.

Standing alongside her husband, Mrs Jones said it was an emotional day for the couple.

"I'm absolutely excited that we have actually got the go-ahead for the centre and the football pitches," she said.

"It's been a long time coming but it's an amazing day today.

"This place is going to be a lasting tribute to Rhys and it's something that all the kids in the area will make use of and I'm sure they will all be delighted when it's finished."

The centre will be built next to football pitches where Everton FC fan Rhys used to play the game with his friends.

"Rhys would have loved a facility like this because he was football mad, he was crazy about football," Mrs Jones said.

"I just hope that everyone gets as much enjoyment out of it that he would have done."

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